September 21, 2022

Grassley: Americans Deserve to Know How FBI Is Addressing Afghan Evacuee Vetting Failures

After DOD OIG and DHS OIG reports exposed vetting failures, Grassley demands transparency from FBI

WASHINGTON -- Today, following yet another classified congressional briefing on the Biden administration’s failure to adequately vet Afghan evacuees, which included the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Senate Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) released the following statement:
 
"The DHS inspector general’s report released this month confirmed that officials failed to adequately vet Afghan evacuees in the wake of President Biden’s botched Afghanistan withdrawal. An earlier DOD report indicated at least 50 evacuees who arrived in the U.S. were eventually flagged as potential security risks. Public safety and national security are clearly at stake here.
 
“The Biden administration, specifically the FBI, must be transparent about steps being taken to thwart risks stemming from the reckless vetting process that was used. So far, the agency has relied on classified briefings instead of full transparency. Transparency brings accountability, which is no doubt what the administration is trying to avoid here given the string of failures that ensued.
 
“That’s why it’s unacceptable that the FBI continues to take a secretive approach, hiding behind classification as an excuse to withhold information that all Americans deserve to have and failing to provide Congress clear answers to important security questions. Given the number of briefings Congress has received since the administration’s decision to withdraw from Afghanistan, including two in the last two months from the FBI, it’s clear the FBI knows this is a serious issue. It’s past time for the FBI to inform the public on the threats we face in our communities and the specific steps it’s taking to protect the homeland.  Attorney General Garland should demand exacting transparency from the FBI, which he has thus far failed to do.”
 

Earlier this month, Grassley called on the Biden administration to respond to long-standing congressional oversight requests regarding the vetting and resettlement process for Afghan evacuees. Grassley has worked with Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to seek transparency about Afghan evacuees “flagged” for security concerns and the Biden administration’s failures to use available vetting tools. Grassley also raised concerns in February, when the Defense Department’s watchdog issued a report about the deficient vetting of Afghan parolees.


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